This past winter, 5th graders across the country were challenged by the American Immigration Council to reflect on—and write about—the theme, "Why I Am Glad America is a Nation of Immigrants." This challenge was part of the Celebrate America Creative Writing Contest. SCDS Grade 5 Humanities Teacher, Jane Hesslein, encouraged her students to participate which resulted in thirteen thoughtful submissions ranging from prose to stories and diary entries.
The contest is held at the local level, with regional contests run by the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) chapters. Each chapter sends its first place winning entry to the American Immigration Council for the national contest.
In May 2018, results were announced and SCDS fifth graders—Addison Bay, Duncan Frisbie-Smith, Willa Lapin, and Giada Verprauskus—placed in the top ten. All four received a movie ticket prize package courtesy of Gobo Enterprises, along with a certificate noting their finalist qualification.
Willa Lapin, who placed second, may read her essay at a local naturalization ceremony, subject to Department of Homeland Security approval of the content. More information can be found here.